Given that online projects often involve myriad items – documents, images, videos – project management software is essential to managing them effectively.
Project management in the online realm, as you might expect, shares many similarities with managing projects that exist in the physical world. One major point of differentiation between the two is the heightened importance of written and photographic content to online projects, as some projects of this type are completely made up of such material. For instance, an online marketing campaign may be aimed at getting people to provide their email addresses for your company’s email mailing list, or to request a white paper that discusses your company’s products, or to watch a video that explains how the products work.
Given that online projects often involve many different files – documents, images, or videos – project management software is essential to managing them effectively. By efficiently communicating with team members, organizing project tasks, monitoring task completion, and rapidly making any necessary changes, the software allows you to complete projects more efficiently than would be the case using email, spreadsheets, and other such tools.
Below are eight reasons why it’s beneficial to use project management software when managing online projects.
1. Ensure proper project priorities
Planning is a crucial component of successful project management. This is especially true for online projects where conditions change rapidly. If you don’t have a plan in place before the project starts, it can be difficult to keep up with new project developments as they occur.
Project management (PM) software provides a framework for creating a process that facilitates effective planning. By identifying which tasks should be given priority over other tasks, you can ensure that project implementation proceeds as efficiently as possible. If task priority changes, the software can accommodate this and ensure that the change is accomplished smoothly. PM tools establish a process that takes into account project deadlines, decision points and other dependencies during plan implementation. This allows you to optimize the project’s resource usage and improves your chances of completing a project under budget and on time.
2. Improve organization and collaboration
Trying to keep track of a bevy of emails, spreadsheets and other project-related material without a project management tool can seem like mission impossible. PM software helps you to efficiently organize project information in a central location. This allows you to more effectively assign project tasks, track expenses and keep your team on schedule to meet deadlines.
During project implementation, a project management tool helps all team members stay up to date on the project. Team members can access the latest project-related files and reports. They can pose questions or make comments, allowing for more efficient collaboration. This is especially important for online projects, which often involve working with geographically dispersed team members. In such cases, you typically aren’t able to stop by a team member’s office or meet them in the field, meaning that without an efficient method of collaborating virtually, such as PM software, project progress is likely to be impeded.
3. Budget effectively
Online project budgets can be tricky, as nailing down the exact costs attributable to online ads or marketing programs can be difficult to do in advance. A project management application can help by allowing you to not only devise budgets quickly and easily, but also by tracking expenditures and alerting you to any deviations from the plan.
Using these tools, you can then track individual budget items efficiently in a central location, without having to use a variety of programs to track different expenses. For instance, a project might incur expenses from product design, running online ads to promote the product, hiring vendors to design the ads, etc. PM software can provide reports that track budget expenses of all types, saving the time it would otherwise take to reconcile expense reports from a variety of sources.
4. Launch projects quickly
Online projects often require tighter timelines than do traditional projects. Partly this is due to how rapidly things change in the online world. Without project management software, project startup can be a lengthy process, requiring the project manager to contact team members individually via email or phone to coordinate planning and project kickoff.
Using PM software for the task means that all team members have access to the necessary information about the task without having to contact the project manager individually. As a result, new projects can be started more rapidly, and new team members joining existing projects can get up to speed more quickly.
5. Track project progress and productivity
Using project management software allows you to effectively track progress both on specific tasks and on the project as a whole. For instance, if you are running an internet advertising campaign, you can monitor cost per click to see if your ads are having the desired effect. As people click on your ads, you could also track the conversion rate showing how many people go on to buy a product, provide their email for your email list or whatever a conversion involves.
You can also track individual tasks using PM software, giving you the ability to follow up with different team members if you need to inquire about their progress or offer them assistance.
6. Monitor project tasks in teal time
Offering real-time project monitoring functionality is a huge advantage of project management software. When you can get up-to-date status reports immediately, it makes it much easier to accurately gauge the progress being made on a project. Software of this type typically can provide detailed project updates and reports that a project manager can use to interface with various stakeholders to ensure buy-in for a project. Eliminating time lapses in producing project status reports empowers you to make better decisions about changes that may need to be made during project implementation.
7. Put analytics to use
Access to robust reporting functionality is crucial for online projects. Reports which provide analytical data on project expenditures, productivity, and performance can be used to assess overall project progress and determine what changes, if any, should be made. Most PM software tools enable you to produce analytics on a wide array of performance indicators, making it possible to view project performance from a variety of perspectives.
8. Improve project completion times
A major benefit of project management software is its ability to help you to complete a project more quickly than might otherwise be the case. Using project management software to organize, prioritize and manage the implementation of an online project offers plentiful opportunities to save time in the project completion process. Time is money – as the saying goes – and by enabling you to complete projects faster, PM software can offer your organization significant savings in both the short and long run.
Editor’s Note: Looking for project management software? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free: